#2 of 2010: FIFA World Cup

by
Posted January 7th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

In a year that had several quality soccer offerings the one that stood out the most was 2010 FIFA World Cup. The game was exceedingly fun and when tied in with the emotions of the real World Cup taking place it really nailed the full experience. Even the vuvuzelas made an appearance!

The ranking of games in the best of 2010 list is based on the personal amount of enjoyment had with a particular title, whether advertised features were fully delivered on, post-release support, community interaction and communication, overall gameplay experience, feature set, and online play performance. Again this is largely a personal take on the games and not a recap of those with the highest scores on Metacritic. The analysis is weighted heavily towards those which I had the most fun with while considering them as a whole and compared relatively to the field.

While they do not get the same widespread exposure as the standard FIFA series, the off-year titles for World Cup and UEFA still do really well worldwide and serve as bridges to FIFA. In that sense they tend to be a little easier to get a grasp of and appeal to a more casual audience. 2010 FIFA World Cup definitely fits that profile as it is faster paced, more open and more forgiving. That level of accessibility is valuable and works to let the fun factor really come through no matter how skilled someone is at the game.

I certainly wouldn’t be someone to break down elements of gameplay or realism, but the game felt true enough to life and synced up with the real-life World Cup to provide an experience rather than just end up as a game attempting to replicate an event or cash in on it. With the global awareness and excitement towards the World Cup it really delivered in the sense of size and pride that fans have supporting their countries. The atmosphere was outstanding, and even the differentiation between different stadiums and the effects of weather conditions were noticeable.

What really struck me was just how much fun I had, even if losing online I enjoyed my time with the game. It is difficult for me to think of many games where getting handled by someone else wouldn’t put me in a bit of a bad mood. The ranked online system was especially intriguing with the “World League Ladder” that had 10 game sets and awarded three points for wins and one for draws. Because of that I played way more online ranked games against random opponents then I typically would with any sports game these days. My one disappointment came with the omission of Online Team Play. The ranked format though was compelling enough that I didn’t really miss it as much as I expected to.

Very few issues stood out, partially because of my lack of ability to spot the more hardcore details, but more so due to the fun I was having outweighing whatever they might have been. The only thing that took me out of the moment was the framerate in cut scenes which seemed to chug because of everything going on in the stadiums.

When a game that represents a sport I don’t watch all that often and despite that produces a high level of enjoyment I give it a lot of credit. Those don’t necessarily have the benefit of built-in knowledge bases but manage to be fun and in the process teach about the sport too. There is usually one each year that emerges and this time around it was 2010 FIFA World Cup. I had more pure fun with World Cup this year than any other sports title and it really succeeded in boosting interest in the sport and the FIFA franchise going forward.

#2: 2010 FIFA World Cup
#3: NCAA Football 11
#4: EA Sports MMA
#5: FIFA 11
#6: Madden NFL 11
#7: Kinect Sports
#8: MLB 10 The Show
#9: NHL 11
#10: NBA Jam
The Biggest Stories of 2010
Community Awards Results
The Worst of 2010
Community Awards Voting

  • Trent

    prob my favorite game of the year. with nba 2k11 surely #1 it was a great top 3

  • Anonymous

    I damn near bought this game…

  • Trent

    Nice to see this game get recognition it was really great.

  • Alex

    Nice to see this game get recognition it was really great.

  • Whataterriblelist

    Wow, you’ve gotta be kidding me. The Show at #8? NHL #9????

    You’ve gotta be getting paid to be putting games like EA MMA above those.

    Madden, a game whose possibly biggest feature was GAMEFLOW above NHL 11, and the Show. Wow.

    • IonG

      those games had their share of issues. The Show’s online play for example. What was its big new feature this year? Catcher mode that no one used in road to the show? Come on. there were a number of factors in his rankings and i cant take issue with the placement or reasoning behind them.

      • http://twitter.com/WWOFTBBNR Phil

        After finally purchasing a PS3, I was very excited for The Show 10. I can easily say it is the most disappointing game I’ve played this generation. That said, I’m very excited for The Show 11 and it will most likely be a day 1 buy.

        • bbird

          I still think Madden 07, 08, 09, and 11 are the most disappointing next gen games

        • Anonymous

          Dude, the Show while a great game is HIGHLY OVER-RATED. Being the “Best” baseball game doesn’t mean it is flawless. I love it, but it certainly has many faults that no one ever cares to mention….

    • IonG

      those games had their share of issues. The Show’s online play for example. What was its big new feature this year? Catcher mode that no one used in road to the show? Come on. there were a number of factors in his rankings and i cant take issue with the placement or reasoning behind them.

    • IonG

      those games had their share of issues. The Show’s online play for example. What was its big new feature this year? Catcher mode that no one used in road to the show? Come on. there were a number of factors in his rankings and i cant take issue with the placement or reasoning behind them.

  • Justin

    Maybe for casuals this is more fun, but Fifa 11 is the better game.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      I can see that being the case sure. I think people with more allegiances to club play, and who have stuck with the FIFA franchise over the year, probably would find that to be more for them. I think even if thats the case World Cup serves as a nice change of pace.

  • jusmegamer

    Well I must admit that I am a casual to soccer as I have never really given it a chance as a video game but I do watch ever so often and I am to the point where I can watch it. It still lags behind tennis as my favorite or most watchable sport after basketball, football, and baseball. My question is, is the online segment still going strong of this game? I might buy it if the online is still strong with enough players just to see if I can get into soccer as a video game.

    • http://www.woodsidemediagroup.com/ Amani

      Online is very strong due to people from all over the world playing. This game or FIFA was going strong for months after the World Cup and still has an active and strong user base. You will not be disappointed.

  • Okafor43

    #1 is @2k11 basketball!

  • BCYa

    I did think this game was really fun. A big step up in gameplay and flavor from FIFA 10. I wasn’t as impressed with the demo I played of FIFA 11 as I was with this game because World Cup was colorful and exciting and FIFA 11 just didn’t feel that way to me. This game did a lot of things right (though watching the 4 fans of your team every game was kinda silly).

  • Slacker77

    Pasta, I hope you read this. I have been a avid reader of your site for the last three or four years. I have always commented on your year end top ten. My handle is usually Slacker 77, or Slacker7dy7. Depending on the commenting system you were using then. I have been around since Sdot’s rampant albeit entertaining “if your not first your last” comments.
    I have disagreed with many of your post over the last year. I am 30 years old, and I honestly don’t have as much time to follow these topics or play as many games.
    I understand your list is subjective and just your opinion. All I can say about your list is Well done!
    I have played all these games except for MLB and can honestly say they deserved a spot on your list. The order of course being subjective. I was shocked to see you include kinect sports and FIFA world cup. In my opinion the three most fun sports games were NBA 2k11, FIFA WC, and Kinect sports by a landslide. I personally believe that NCAA made great strides this year, and EA mma was a pleasant surprise. While sadly FIFA 11, NHL 11, madden 11 all made strides towards realism. But they lost some of the pick up and play fun factor that made them great. I wanted to love NBA Jam. But for some reason to me the gameplay felt hollow. I know MLB is excellent but I enjoy a more casual experience. I feel this was a huge down year for sports games overall. But FIFA WC brought back that old school fun!!! I’m glad to see you gave it some love. I say this full knowing soccer is not your favorite sports genre.
    I wrote this knowing all the grief you receive with your annual list. I just wanted to say well done.

    • Anonymous

      Cool dude…

Sponsors
Categories
Featured Video
Quantcast